Background & Objectives: The usual approach to treat Salmonella infections has been the use of conventional antibiotics, but the emergence of MDR (multidrug-resistant) strains and their undesirable effects has diverted the scientific interest towards the use of natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds. In this context, Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) is one such alternative, which has been safely used for centuries in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of various ailments. The present study was therefore, planned to evaluate the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory (edema) and immuno-modulatory potential of the purified whole root extract of Withania somnifera against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium.
Material and Methods: Female inbred BALB/c mice, 4-6 weeks old (16-22 gm in weight), were procured from the Central Animal House, Panjab University, Chandigarh (India).
Results: Well-diffusion assay and CFU (colony forming units) enumeration confirmed the in-vitro inhibitory potential of Withania somnifera. The anti-inflammatory potential of ashwagandha was confirmed by mouse paw oedema test and flicking response. Further, a significant decrease in MDA (malondialdehyde) and increase in SOD (superoxide dismutase) levels revealed the modulatory effects of ashwagandha in terms of macrophage functions. Withania somnifera also demonstrated excellent in-vivo potency against serovar Typhimurium as evident by reduction in the number of Salmonellae in the liver, spleen and intestine along with histological studies.
Interpretations & Conclusion: From the present study, it may be concluded that Withania somnifera possesses strong antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory potential against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium as evidenced by in-vitro, ex-vivo and in-vivo tests.
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